Q: Is there anywhere in the Champaign County area that offers lower-price counseling for kids and teens — on a sliding scale based on family income?
A: Three I'm aware of are Promise Healthcare, Family Service of Champaign County and Crosspoint Human Services, though there may be others.
Some private therapists also offer sliding-scale discounts.
Promise HealthCare just added a pediatric counselor, so now it's offering mental health services for both kids and adults.
Fees range from $5-$15, depending on income, but discounts are available for people earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The cutoff kicks in at an annual income of $24,281 for one person and $32,921 for a household of two.
Promise Healthcare's new pediatric counselor, KAITLYN CORNELL, is seeing kids up to age 18 three days a week at the Urbana school-based health center and two days a week at Frances Nelson Health Center, Champaign.
Cornell has openings for new clients, she said.
Mental health patients don't need to already be primary care patients at Frances Nelson, though they do need to fill out a new patient form.
Cornell said she sees depression and anxiety impacting some kids, and some of that results from bullying. Sometimes, kids making the transition to middle school or high school also need some extra support, she said.
Kids younger than 12 need to have the permission of a parent or guardian to access counseling through Promise Healthcare, and can also be seen with family members, she said.
"I find a lot of issues that happen to kids under 12, especially behavior issues, have a lot to do with the family dynamic," she said.
Kids 12 and older can come to up to eight counseling sessions without parental permission, but after eight sessions they need to obtain parental consent, Cornell said.
Family Service of Champaign County offers counseling on a sliding scale basis for kids ages 5 and up and adults of all ages, and currently has openings without a wait, according to the program's director, ALICE KIRBY.
People without health insurance are welcome, and commercial insurance is also accepted, but, note, the agency isn't set up to accept Medicaid, she said.
Crosspoint Human Services offers largely therapy for kids at its Champaign facility, which is in Rosecrance's building at 1801 Fox Drive, C.
In Vermilion county, Crosspoint offers therapy for all ages.
If you're looking for a private counselor in the area who offers a sliding scale discount, try the search at psychologytoday.com.
Therapists are listed by zip code. Among the details provided about each are whether insurance is accepted, the average cost per session and whether there's a sliding scale available.